Online content is distracting by design. Websites require links to additional content in the sidebar to keep readers hooked, advertisement for sales or specials to direct them to a sales page and links to social media accounts to convert them into followers.
It is an unfortunate side effect that this supplemental material is heavily distracting, luring eyes away from the blog post and onto something else.
As a reaction, fewer visitors are reading the material and more readers are scanning it for keywords instead of following every line.
Provide Key Information In A Scannable Format
Online content can no longer be treated like an English essay, with a slow build to a conclusion. Visitors do not have the time or patience to wait for the information they require when they can get it quickly somewhere else.
Blog posts and articles should start with the main point and dish out specifics afterwards. In order for content to be scannable, it needs to be easy on the eyes so information can be picked up while the reader scans through.
Avoid Big Blocks Of Text And Keep Paragraphs Short
A large block of text is great in a novel, but for somebody opening up a post on their phone it’s a red flag. Not only are large paragraphs hard on the eyes, they are off-putting to first-time readers who are unfamiliar with the website.
Paragraphs should be no more than three sentences. Writing in shorter sentences has the added benefit of forcing the writer to omit any unnecessary details that would clutter the page, making the writing stronger.
Scannable Secrets: White Space, Bullet Points And Subheadings
Content needs to be easy on the reader’s eyes in order to be scannable. Lots of white space on the page helps keep the reader focused on the content and keep them away from distractions.
Bullet points are a highly effective way of relaying crucial information in an easily digestible way that can be read quickly. Well worded subheadings can break a blog post into multiple parts while allowing readings to scan to the part of the article they find relevant.
Scannable content is necessary for any blog to survive in 2016. Last year’s trend is this year’s requirement, and every competitive website will be providing information in a format that is scannable. If readers can find the information they want quickly, they will continue to come back.